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iPad hack nets free subscription mags

Details have emerged of a simple hack which allows iPad users to get free magazine and newspapers.

The exploit, which involves editing a single field in the plist file that manages download information, has been used to swipe free copies of a number of Italian daily newspapers, some high profile Condé Nast titles, The New Yorker and Wired.

The hack was unearthed by Apple hacking site Dark Apples but remained relatively secret until exposed by the Huffington Post, which informed some of the publications involved that they had been caught with their pants down.

Adobe, which manages Condé Nast's iPad publications and has been at the centre of some of the most worrying security breaches in the last few months, told the Huff, "We have confirmed that it is possible for experienced users with detailed instructions to access some digital publications on the iPad that have not been purchased. We are working on a fix."

We'd hardly call someone with the ability to find a file, edit a single word, and save it back to an iPad an 'experienced user', and the 'detailed instructions' in question amount to about three paragraphs of simple steps which your average ten-year-old could fathom out.

The iPad is expected in some circles to be a magical panacea for the flagging print publishing industry, but leaving gaping holes in security like this will do little to help.